In the training and consulting that I do, I talk about goals quite a bit. Goals are fundamental to success in life. The latest research on success by Dr. Heidi Halvorson points to the importance of setting very specific goals.
My impression, however, is that most people don't set goals. Perhaps they don't buy it, or they don't get it. Or perhaps they did, at one time, but something got in the way, and their goals faded away.
What's the problem then? The SMART (Specific, Measurable, Aggressive, Realistic, and Time bound) formula has stood the test of time quite well. Is something missing?
For those who have been staying clear of goals, for whatever reason, here is a six-point model that I call Goal Setting made S*I*M*P*L*E:
S = Stop to think about what you want out of life. To make more money? Get a better job? Move to a different state? What do you aspire to? What would make you happier?
I = Important vs Urgent: We get so caught up in the crises of the moment that we hardly spend any time asking ourselves, What is most important to me? Make time each week to find a quiet place where you can reflect upon what is truly important.
M = Make a list of the ideas that could help you move toward your goal. Make another list of the obstacles you are likely to encounter. This will keep your goal setting realistic, and help you identify the resources you'll tap into to make the journey.
P = Put a plan together that identifies the first steps you can start to take now that will get you moving in the desired direction.
L = Let others know what you are striving for and ask for their input and support. They will be happy to help.
E = Execute the plan a step at a time, one day at a time. There will be bad days, even setbacks. You may be tempted to throw in the towel at times. But stay focused on the goal you have selected.
A wise book on this process is "Oh the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss. I highly recommend it.
Posted by Terrence Seamon on Saturday January 21, 2012